Portsmouth Trojans 2020-2021

Portsmouth will play Belpre in the first round of the sectional tournament on Feb.22 at 7:00. The game should be at PHS with the Trojans having the higher seed (#16 to Belpre's #17). The winner of that game will play at Fairland for the sectional championship on Feb. 26 at 7:00.

The Convocation Center in Athens will not be used for district or regional tournament play this season due to Covid, so the sites for those tournaments are TBD. Attendance will be limited as has been the policy for the regular season.
 

bbjunky81

New member
Dave,

What's the game report on the Ironton loss last night? I saw in the paper Hacker (their best player) was out, so was very surprised to see Portsmouth lose that game at home. Foul trouble? Shot it bad?
 
BBJunky81: I don't have my own computer, so I post reports at the PPLibrary, which is closed on Wednesday. I am using a friend's computer right now.

As far as the game, Hacker was out, but once again the Trojans had another poor offensive game. The 44 points vs. Ironton was the 8th time that the Trojans have scored less than 50 pts. this season, and they are 0-8 in those games. Erickson Barnes of Ironton scored 21 pts, and made 4 clutch FT's with less than a minute remaining. Still, the Trojans had a chance to take the lead with just seconds left, but Chris Duff missed a 3 pointer and Barnes then clinched the win at the charity stripe. Ironton has a good team, but as poorly as PHS played offensively, the Trojans still had a chance to win at the end. From what I saw, Ironton should have a really good team next season (I believe Hacker is a SR though). They started a FR at the point and that kid can really handle the ball. They will have some shooters coming up, but it appears as if lack of size could be a problem. Portsmouth outrebounded Ironton 36-32.

BBJunky81: We are just not a good offensive team.......we don't shoot well, we don't handle the ball well, and it all adds up to a lot of turnovers and lack of points. Our defense gave Ironton fits, but the offense just couldn't put the ball in the basket enough. We have, though, lost 1 game by 1 point, 1 game by 2 points, and to Ironton by 4. 3 losses by 7 points........we could be 9-6 instead of 6-9.

I will say about the Trojans next season.........our JV has won 8 of its last 10 games, and have been scoring 60-70 pts. on average. Look for 2 kids on that team to start next season..........Devin Lattimore and DeAndre Berry. Both are freshmen and have been very good offensively for the JV. The varsity starts 2 seniors, so they are coming up at the right time. Both have dressed for the varsity already, and have gotten varsity minutes. Sophomores Tyler Duncan and Reid Pendleton have played well on the JV's as well.

This season has been a disappointment.........I thought for sure the Trojans would be better with 4 starters back, but the lack of offense has killed this season. We are going to have our 3rd straight losing season. We lose Miles Shipp this year, and there is nobody in the program that can rebound like him. With the already mentioned JV kids moving up, hopefully offensively the Trojans will be better. Athletically, we can go up against anybody. Rebounding will be a big issue in 2021-2022.

You are basketball knowledgeable enough to know that you have to be able to score to win. Defense is nice, but it will only keep you in games while offense can be the difference maker. Next season, offense has to be better for the Trojans to be better.
 
Portsmouth won a thriller last night at home vs. Coal Grove 65-63 in OT. The Trojans took a 12-0 lead, then the Hornets chipped away, trailing 25-18 at the half. CG outscored the Trojans 21-11 in the 3rd quarter to take a 3 point lead into the final 8 minutes. With just about 30 seconds to play, PHS's Drew Roe hit a 3 to tie the game at 54. CG had a shot to win, but it bounced off the rim at the buzzer. Portsmouth managed an 11-9 advantage in the OT, but still had to survive a Hornet shot to get the win. PHS is now 7-9 on the season, and 5-7 in OVC play.

Portsmouth shot a horrendous 6-26 from the FT line, yet still won. FR DeAndre Berry scored 14 points, while FR Devin Lattimore scored 7.

PHS entertains Fairland tonight, with the Dragons having won 11 in a row vs. the Trojans. Portsmouth hasn't beaten FHS since the 2016 season.

The win was also the 180th in Coach Eugene Collins' career at PHS. He is now 180-102 overall. He trails all time wins leader George Heller (1952-1968) by 44 wins (Heller was 224-137).
 
Portsmouth's offensive woes returned Saturday night, as the Fairland Dragons came to PHS and handed the Trojans a 60-41 loss. It was the 9th time that Portsmouth has scored less than 50 points in a game this season, losing all 9 of those games. PHS actually had a 15-10 lead after the 1st quarter, but FHS went on a 24-0 run to put the game away. One bright spot for PHS was that FR DeAndre Berry and FR Devin Lattimore combined for 10 points. PHS is now 7-10 on the season and headed toward a 3rd straight losing season, going 25-39 during that time, with seasons of 8-16, 10-13, and now 7-10. Portsmouth hasn't had 3 straight losing seasons since 2007-2008-2009. The Trojans have had only 1 losing decade in school history, that being from 2000-2009 with a record of 100-121. Currently this decade has Portsmouth sporting a record of 17-23.

Some positive notes about the program include the JV squad which has won 9 of its last 12 games, starting 3-4 freshmen, while the 8th grade advanced in the OVC tournament with a 51-18 win over Coal Grove. The 7th grade also advanced in the OVC tournament with a 40-39 win over Fairland. The 7th and 8th grade teams both have some good size, which the varsity Trojans have been starving for almost 10 years.
 
Portsmouth is supposed to play North Adams on Monday, and at Rock Hill on Tuesday to finish the regular season. With the weather forecast, those games most likely will be postponed, with the NA game probably canceled.
 
No official word yet on the North Adams or Rock Hill games, but Rock Hill must be played because it's an OVC game. Portsmouth right now is 5-8 in OVC play, and need a win over RH to match last year's conference record of 6-8. Over the last 6 years, the Trojans are 41-42 in OVC play, and were the last school to win the OVC before Fairland went on a dynasty run starting in 2016, with 5 straight conference titles. Currently South Point and Fairland both have only 1 OVC loss, with the Pointers losing to Portsmouth in December, while the Dragons lost at South Point last week. The two meet again to decide the OVC title this week.
 
Portsmouth has officially rescheduled the game at Rock Hill for Tuesday, Feb. 23. That is the day after the Trojans open tournament play with a sectional opener vs. Belpre at PHS. The winner of that game will play at #1 seed Fairland on Friday, Feb.26.

The Portsmouth Junior High 7th and 8th grade teams have both advanced to the 2nd round of the OVC tournament. The 7th grade defeated Fairland 40-39, while the 8th grade bested Coal Grove 51-18. Both PJHS teams will play at Coal Grove (neutral site) on Tuesday, Feb. 23, with the winners advancing to the OVC championship games to be held at Portsmouth, date TBD.
 
Things could be looking brighter for the Trojans next season, as freshmen DeAndre Berry and Devin Lattimore have positively impacted the varsity team, scoring 31 points between them in the last 2 games. They should be a lock to start on the varsity next season, and with the offensive ability of LeVaughn Cobb, Tyler Duncan, and Reid Pendleton on the JV team, Portsmouth could field a squad with more scoring punch. If that be the case, then there's no question the Trojans will be improved.

With the Junior High Trojans 7th and 8th grade teams both having good seasons, there is hope that for the next 4-5 years that Portsmouth could put a more competitive varsity team on the court. Perhaps the biggest question facing the program will be the status of head coach Eugene Collins, who has a very good overall record of 180-103 in 12 years, but unfortunately is saddled with 3 straight losing seasons counting this year. He hinted last year about not returning for this season, so there will be probably the same talk this off season. Collins is the 2nd winningest coach in PHS history, trailing only George Heller (1952-1968, 224-137). He guided PHS to back to back Final 4's in 2011 and 2012, and a regional final in 2015.

The junior/senior class has not lived up to the expectations that was hoped for, and with 5 juniors on the team, there is uncertainty as to how many of them will impact the varsity next season, with their lack of offensive punch and given the good play of the freshmen class. If Portsmouth is to return to the winning side of the ledger, more offense is an absolute must. The junior/senior class has not provided it, but the sophomore/freshmen classes look very capable of putting more points on the scoreboard. Portsmouth is currently 0-9 in games this season in which they have scored less than 50 points.

From 2015--2021, and including the 2011 and 2012 state tournament teams, Portsmouth is 9-37 in games in which they have scored less than 50 points. The last 3 years, however, have been the biggest struggle offensively, and consequently, the records show that. 2019: 8-16, 2020: 10-13, 2021: currently 7-10. The teams 2015-2018 were very good teams and had few games scoring less than 50 points. 2015: 20-7, 2016: 16-8, 2017: 17-8, 2018: 16-8. Those 4 teams averaged at least 60 PPG, with the exception of the 2017 team, which averaged 57.8 PPG.

Portsmouth doesn't lack athleticism and rarely has.........but offensively, the program is in one of the worst periods in history. More scoring will produce more wins, the math says so based on the research that I've done. Next season will be one in which there are 2 directions to go........do you play next year's senior class just because they're seniors, and have not won throughout their entire varsity careers, or do you go with a more offensively talented but less experienced sophomore/junior class? Will a few freshmen be allowed to dress and play varsity as has been the case this season? Can the Trojans overcome an anticipated lack of size given the graduation of outstanding rebounder Miles Shipp? Can PHS actually be a contender for the OVC title, something the school hasn't won since 2015, and has conference records the last 3 seasons of 3-11, 6-8, and currently 5-8(with 1 game remaining). Can Portsmouth look more like a basketball team with proficient basketball skills instead of a team with good athletes who lack the scoring ability to seriously compete?

Questions abound for the 2021-2022 season, and how those questions will be answered will be pivotal to the success over the next 4-5 years for Portsmouth basketball.
 
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Portsmouth plays at home vs. Belpre tonight in the first round of the D3 sectional. Because of Covid, neutral sites are not being used this year and limited attendance policy is still in place. If the Trojans win, they advance to play at Fairland on Friday for the sectional championship.

Portsmouth will play at Rock Hill on Tuesday for the final OVC game of the season. The game has been postponed twice, and the Trojans must win to match last year's 6-8 OVC record and also post a 42-42 OVC mark for the last 6 seasons.

The Portsmouth 7th and 8th grade teams are playing Tuesday in the semifinals of the OVC junior high tournament @Coal Grove HS. It marks the 2nd consecutive year that the 8th grade squad has advanced to at least the semifinals. Since Portsmouth joined the OVC in the 2014-2015 season, the Trojan 7th and 8th grade teams have never won the junior high OVC title.
 
Portsmouth opened sectional tournament play with a 68-53 win over the Belpre Golden Eagles @PHS Monday night. The Trojans put 4 players in double figures, led by SR Miles Shipp and JR Daryionne Bryant with 13 points apiece. FR Devin Lattimore tossed in 11, while SR Michael Duncan added 11. FR DeAndre Berry and SO Tyler Duncan each added a 3 pointer.

Portsmouth advances to play OVC champion Fairland on Friday @Fairland. The Trojans have lost 12 in a row to the Dragons, with the last win being in the 2014-2015 season. Since that time, PHS has lost twice in OT at Fairland.

Tonight, the Trojans will play their final OVC game of the season at Rock Hill. Portsmouth needs a win to finish tied for 4th in the OVC (with Gallia Academy) with a 6-8 record for the 2nd straight season, and 42-42 overall for the last 6 years. PHS was the last OVC champion before Fairland went on a 6 year run of OVC titles.
 
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A day after beating Belpre in the sectional tournament, Portsmouth lost at Rock Hill 56-52 in their final OVC game of the year. The Redmen were 1-82 going back 6 years in OVC play, and their only win came in the 2015 season. The Trojans came into the game 5-8 in the OVC, and with a win could have evened their 6 year mark at 42-42. But RH came out in the 2nd half and dominated PHS, taking as much as a 12 point lead. PHS cut the Redmen advantage to 2 points, but missed FT's doomed the Trojans down the stretch. Portsmouth is now 8-11 on the season and 41-43 in OVC play the last 6 years. The Trojans tournament fate rests with a game at Fairland on Friday. The Trojans have lost 12 consecutive games to the Dragons and haven't won a sectional since 2017. Rock Hill finishes 1-13 in OVC play. RH was eliminated in tournament play on Monday.
 
It will take almost a Biblical miracle for Portsmouth's season to continue after tonight, as the Trojans travel to Proctorville to take on the Fairland Dragons, who got the #1 seed in SE D3. PHS has a 12 game losing streak to FHS, with the majority of those games being blowouts. During that 12 game streak, the 2 closest games were 2 OT losses at Fairland. I anticipate the Trojans having trouble to score which has been the main problem with the team this season.........0-9 in games scoring less than 50 points. 8-2 in games scoring over 50.

I hope that at least Portsmouth can put up a good fight and be competitive............GO TROJANS!!
 
Thanks 3out2in...........unfortunately, what was expected did happen. Fairland completely dominated from the opening tip and handed Portsmouth one of, if not the worst margin of defeat in PHS tournament history with a 85-47 win in the D3 sectional championship @FHS. It got so out of hand in the 2nd half that the Trojans had a running clock put on them, and that probably saved them from even a bigger loss.

Despite the embarrassing loss, there was a bright spot or two for Portsmouth. Freshman DeAndre Berry came in midway in the 3rd quarter, and ended up leading the Trojans in scoring with 12 points. Freshman Devin Lattimore started for PHS, and scored 2 points. Freshman LeVaughn Cobb hit a 3 pointer, while sophomore Michael Duncan did likewise. All told, freshmen and sophomores scored 20 of PHS's 47 points. Berry is most likely the first freshman to ever lead Portsmouth in scoring in a tournament game.

On the bad side, it was Portsmouth's 10th loss when scoring less than 50 points. The Trojans went 0-10 in those games. It was also the Trojans' 13th straight defeat to Fairland. PHS posted its 3rd straight losing season, going 8-12 after going 10-13 in 2020 and 8-16 in 2019. Portsmouth has had only 1 losing decade ever (2000-2009, 100-121), but is not off to a good start for this decade.

As far as next season, it is uncertain as to whether Coach Eugene Collins will be back. Portsmouth's offensive woes will continue next season especially if the junior class (seniors next season) don't improve offensively. Realistically, the Trojans are 2 years away from rebounding toward the winning side of the ledger. For the first time in quite a while, the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade classes have some good basketball talent and to have 3 consecutive good classes provide hope that Trojan basketball can make a comeback.

Portsmouth has won only 1 sectional title since 2015 (2017). The Trojans haven't won a district title since 2015, and were eliminated in the district semifinal in 2017 by South Point. Tournament success is what put Portsmouth basketball among the state's most prominent programs, but it has been a struggle to even get out of the sectional. Trojan basketball will get back to winning, but it probably won't be next season. I hope I'm wrong.

GO TROJANS!!
 
What about next season for Portsmouth? Many questions with many possible answers. Probably the #1 question facing the 2021-22 Trojans will be on the offensive side of the court. Can PHS score enough to give themselves a chance to win. 10 times the Trojans scored 47 points or less, and all 10 times they lost. There can't be a repeat of that to have a winning season. Here's a early look at the roster for next season just considering those expected to come back, with returning starters designated with an *. Doesn't necessarily mean that they will start in 2021-22. I would say with confidence, though, that Berry and Lattimore are surefire starters given their ability to score.

6-0 SR Donovan Carr*
6-3 SR Daryionne Bryant*
5-8 SR Drew Roe*
5-7 SR Amare Johnson*
6-1 SO Devin Lattimore*
5-10 SO DeAndre Berry
6-1 SR Daewin Spence
5-11 JR Tyler Duncan
5-9 JR Reid Pendleton
6-0 SO LeVaughn Cobb
6-1 SO Noah Livingston
6-1 SO Nathaniel Berry
5-8 SO Robert Woods
6-3 FR Luke Stine

Not much size at all with this group, but athleticism is very good. Leading scorer returning is Daryionne Bryant, about 10 PPG. Honestly, though, the seniors may not average any more than 30-35 points on a given night, with Lattimore and Berry capable of scoring over 20-25 points combined and have shown that in the last 3rd of the season in which they played. Rebounding will be a major concern, now that Miles Shipp (10 RPG) is gone. Shipp also was the leading scorer, and his physical presence will be very much missed. PHS will absolutely have to beat teams up the court, because their offense struggles even more when they have to operate in the half court.

I anticipate a few freshmen dressing for both JV and varsity since Portsmouth doesn't have a freshmen team anymore. One kid in particular, Luke Stine, is about 6-3 and could end up being a good post presence for the Trojan varsity by his sophomore year. He should good skills at both ends of the court on the 8th grade team. There are a couple other kids on the incoming freshmen group that could add offense to Berry, Lattimore, Cobb, and Livingston by their sophomore year.

Defensively, Coach Collins went strictly man to man late in the season, which utilizes the Trojans' quickness and athleticism. I anticipate more of the same on that end of the court, but rebounding is a must if the Trojans are to beat teams up the floor.

Coach Collins is 181-105 in 12 years, and has averaged 15 wins a year since he took over in 2009-2010. He's the only coach in the SE district that has advanced to at least 3 regional finals in the past decade, with 2 Final 4's, including a state runnerup. He's 5-1 in regional play, and 2-1 in regional finals. Portsmouth is the last SE district school to have won a state semifinal, that being a 74-66 win over Ottawa-Glandorf in the 2012 D3 semis.

It will be very interesting to see if the 2021-22 Trojans can get back to scoring more which probably will mean winning more. GO TROJANS!!
 
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Talked to Coach Collins last Friday and he said that the Trojans will be very busy with summer basketball, which is far different than in 2020 with the Covid restrictions. This team needs summer basketball, as it definitely affected what happened during last season. Hopefully the seniors who are returning can use summer ball to improve their offensive skills, as they will have to lead the way in 2021-2022.

The Ohio Valley Conference will be more competitive than last season, as Fairland and South Point were clearly the 2 best teams in the conference. Almost every team has quite a bit coming back, although the 6 time consecutive conference champion and the 2020-21 D3 district champion loses a good nucleus but returns Aiden Porter, one of the SE district's best guards. FHS's JV won the OVC last season. South Point also loses quite a bit, including Austin Webb and Darryl Taylor, but have Nakyan Turner back at guard. Ironton has several starters back including players from a good JV squad. Gallia Academy returns 6-7 Isaac Clary and freshmen guard Franklin after a district runnerup finish in 2020-2021. Coal Grove returns all 5 starters, and had a good JV team. Chesapeake in most years seems to field a good team, and like several other teams in the OVC, had a good JV squad. The Panthers had an unusual 7th place finish in the conference. Rock Hill has struggled to get out of 8th place in the OVC, and that may happen again with so many other teams stocked with talent.

Of course this being March and with player movement almost a given during the offseason, teams can take on a completely different look than what was projected in the spring. I just hope that my Trojans can be a factor in the OVC race after 2 consecutive 5th place finishes. PHS hasn't won the OVC since their first season in the conference in 2015.
 
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3out2in

Well-known member
Great analysis of the league Dave. Sounds like it will be tough again. I hope the Trojans can bounce back.
 
3out2in: Quite honestly it looks like it won't be until the 2022-23 season that Portsmouth can get back on the winning side of the ledger. Next season we will be starting a sophomore backcourt, with the real possibility that we will have a freshman post player either starting or getting good varsity minutes. I don't think the scoring issues which have plagued the program for 3 years now will be fixed by next season. But in 2 years that should start turning around as the backcourt will be ready to post some good scoring figures, possibly both averaging at least 15-18 PPG. If next year's freshman post player can continue to grow(right now 6-3 in 8th grade), we finally could have an offense in 2 years that resembles more of a traditional look instead of basically 5 guards running around looking for an open jumper.

Hopefully the summer program that Coach Collins said will be very active will greatly benefit our players. Last year there was no summer ball and that showed big time this past season. Our players need summer basketball.

Portsmouth basketball will be back, but not next year. Patience will be required, but there is hope in what I'm forecasting 2 years from now. Then we could be on a 4-5 year run of winning Trojan basketball.
 
Lord willing, I'll be back next year on Yappi reporting on hopefully a better season for my Trojans. Already looking forward to the 21-22 season, just maybe a season that will resemble more normalcy, no masks, more fans, a full schedule, and for the SE district, getting back to the Convo for the district and regional tournaments.
 
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